Colleges Don't Make Grade Curbing Alcohol

MINNEAPOLIS, July 24 (UPI) — Few U.S. colleges make satisfactory grades in efforts to curb student drinking, University of Minnesota researchers find.

Not many communities identified as “heavy drinking” have taken steps to curtail alcohol binging recommended in the 2002 report by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the researchers say.

The findings, scheduled to be published in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, say only half of the 351 colleges surveyed offered brief intervention programs with documented evidence of effectiveness for students at high risk for alcohol problems.

About 33 percent of colleges reported collaborating with their community on effective alcohol control strategies, such as compliance checks to monitor illegal sales, responsible beverage service training, restrictions on alcohol outlets and/or interventions to address access to low-cost alcohol.

Nearly all colleges offered educational programs but the NIAAA report found the programs by themselves were ineffective.

“In 2002, there was a great deal of research available to show that heavy drinking was a problem on college campuses. The NIAAA recommendations were designed to help colleges and college communities address that problem,” lead author Toben Nelson says in a statement. “Unfortunately, what we’ve found is that little progress in the implementation of the recommendations has been made since they were released.”

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